Magpies fall victim to award curse

FIRED WIDE: Nick Crittenden

FIRED WIDE: Nick Crittenden

First published in Sport by

SALISBURY CITY 4

Sinclair 9, McPhee 19, 80, R Matthews 54

DORCHESTER TOWN 0

PHIL Simkin’s worst fears were realised at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium last night as the Magpies fell victim to the manager of the month curse.

The Dorchester Town boss was announced as the September winner of the Blue Square Bet South award on Monday afternoon after leading his side to 12 points from a possible 15.

While delighted to receive such recognition, Simkin jokingly labelled the gong as the “kiss of the death”.

And so it proved in last night’s top-of-the-table clash at Salisbury City with the league leaders inflicting a 4-0 defeat on the second-placed Magpies – their biggest loss in almost 14 months.

Dorchester recorded a 1-0 victory on their last visit to the Wiltshire venue but a Chris McPhee double, together with efforts from Stuart Sinclair and Robbie Matthews, ensured there was to be no repeat show.

Assistant-manager Stuart Heath, whose side will look to bounce back in Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Basingstoke Town, said: “Sometimes you have to hold your hand up and say you were second best and beaten by the better team.

“They started at a high tempo, which we wanted to do ourselves, and were a bit more dynamic than ourselves.

“When you’re on the back foot it’s always going to be a difficult game and although we tried to get ourselves into the game we gave away two poor goals in the first half, which we weren’t happy about.

“We will all take responsibility for the defeat and we will help and encourage each other in the build-up to Saturday’s game with Basing-stoke.

“If we do that, then with a good crowd behind us we have every chance of getting a good result.”

Despite pre-match concerns over the fitness of Nathan Walker, the towering defender lined up against City with the only change from Saturday’s late win over Welling seeing Nick Crittenden come in for Jake Gosling.

The table-toppers, who featured former Terras McPhee and Callum Hart in their starting XI, made the brighter opening and went on to draw first blood nine minutes in through Sinclair.

Reinstated winger Crittenden fired wide with just home gloveman Will Puddy to beat as the county town outfit sought an immediate response but instead they suffered a second hammer blow with McPhee doubling the home side’s tally.

The deficit should have been pulled back to one just minutes later but captain Mark Jermyn, one appearance shy of equalling the unofficial all-time record set by Trevor Townsend (547), could only head straight into the arms of Puddy.

The two-goal deficit remained intact as the half-time whistle blew.

Sam Malsom was introduced for the second half, in place of leading scorer Jamie Reid, as Dorchester set about repairing the damage.

But it was the Whites who added to their haul with Robbie Matthews heading past namesake Jason Matthews to effectively seal the points.

And to add insult to injury, the hosts bagged a fourth late on with McPhee scoring from the spot after substitute Arran Pugh was penalised in the box.

Magpies: J Matthews, Jermyn, Martin (Pugh 55), Clough, Walker, Gleeson, Crittenden (Gosling 65), Nicholls, Watson, Reid (Malsom 46), Morgan. Subs not used: Symes, Way.

Attendance: 759

* Dorchester Town Reserves enjoyed better luck against their Salisbury counterparts with goals from Steve Walker and Josh Tennant helping them to a 2-1 victory last night – their third successive win in the Wyvern Premier League. Report to follow.

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